Saturday, September 01, 2007

Fire and Ice

We lucked out. The Castle Rock fires near Ketchum are not much of a threat at the moment. Firefighters say they should be completely contained by Monday. As a precaution, the town cancelled most Labor Day weekend events and the crowds stayed away giving us a rare glimpse into a quiet Ketchum. We even have perfect weather, too. Today we rented bicycles and rode the Wood River bike trail that runs some 20 miles through the valley, mostly along the river. Beautiful.

We got a bit ambitious and rode all the way to Hailey from Ketchum. Once there, we were too tired to ride the 13 miles back. We browsed a few stores and ate lunch at Shorty's (owned by Bruce Willis.) All over town thank you signs to the firefighters are posted in store windows. The residents are very grateful to them for saving their towns. There are over 1500 firefighters in town. Most are camped in pup tents on an open field in Ketchum. You gotta love their heartiness. The billionaires who own homes in Ketchum, Sun Valley, and Hailey sure do. Not one home was lost to the fierce wildfires. Nor one piece of art. A brisk business was made of removing valuable art from homes in the wake of the fire threat.
So far, the towns are safe, though the scare will put a sore dent in the economy. The loss of revenue expected from Labor Day weekend will be hard on merchants. Still, storekeepers were offering big discounts and freebies to the firefighters in gratitude.

We ended up loading our bicycles into a taxi van back to Ketchum. We rested, cleaned up, and went to dinner at the Pioneer Saloon. I finally had that Old Fashioned cocktail that the bartender in Deadwood recommended to me. No, not my favorite. Allison was put off by all the animal trophies hung along the walls. I thought the place was terrific. Robert had an Idaho baked potato the size of Rhode Island. After dinner, we went to the Sun Valley Ice Rink to see a show that included Olympic medalist, Sasha Cohen. Why that event didn't get cancelled, I don't know, but we were glad to enjoy it.

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